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Taverner: An Opera in Two Acts

Album Summary

>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Taverner, opera in 2 acts, J. 92
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

BBC Music Magazine
The opera is full... bitterly ironic juxtapositions, such as the 'holy' chanting from monks heard against the cynical Realpolitik of the negotiations between King and the Cardinal. Making the dramatically effective needs a careful balancing of the textures, and here conductor Oliver Knussen proves just as masterly as one would expect. But he's equally good at bringing out the astringent and anguished lyricism of the music, particularly the orchestral interludes in the last Act. ...Stuart Cale as the Cardinal (later the Anglican Archbishop) stands out as particularly fine, relishing the unctuous cynicism of both of these fine prelates. In all, this recording is a wonderful achievement which does justice to a powerful, timely and humane work.

Gramophone Magazine
Of the stalwart team of solo singers, Martyn Hill, Quentin Hayes and Stuart Kale are particularly successful in their lyrical shaping of lines which can so easily become tortuously shapeless. ... conductor Oliver Knussen keeps the goals in view and the climaxes in proportion, with the strings of the BBC SO tirelessly eloquent in the searing final stages.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Studios 1 and 2, BBC Maida Vale, London (12/05/1996-12/14/1996).


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Works Details

>Maxwell Davies, Peter : Taverner, opera in 2 acts, J. 92
  • Performers: Stephen Richardson (Bass Baritone); Michael Chance; Quentin Hayes (Baritone); John Graham-Hall (Tenor); Peter Hall (Tenor); Stuart Kale (Tenor); David Wilson-Johnson (Bass-Baritone); Peter Sidhom (Baritone); Stephen Pruslin (Regal); Fiona Kimm (Mezzo Soprano); Martyn Hill
  • Conductor: Oliver Knussen
  • Ensemble: His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts
  • Notes: Studios 1 and 2, BBC Maida Vale, London (12/05/1996-12/14/1996)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1970